6 Reasons to Plan a Girls Weekend Getaway! 

When was the last time you took a vacation with your best friends? If you’re on the edge of making a decision maybe this list will help! What better way to relax than sit with your toes in the sand and listen to the waves crash against the shore?

Here are 6 Reasons to Plan a Girls Weekend at the Beach in Gulf Shores: 

1) Take a break

After spending the last two years in a global pandemic, everyone is in need of a girls weekend to reset so you can be the best version of yourself. You have been everyone else’s caretaker, making sure your family survived and made it through a global pandemic. You know you need a break from your everyday responsibilities, clients, contracts and time clocks. Where the only thing you have to worry about is what time the sun sets. What better way to celebrate than to take your girlfriends and head to the Alabama Gulf Coast for a weekend on the beach!

2) Let someone else cook

Being able to go out and enjoy someone else’s cooking is something we don’t always get to appreciate! But, when you’re on vacation and able to sit back and relax, it becomes a treat. With all of the great restaurants Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan have to offer, it probably isn’t easy to pick! We have something for all kinds of eaters. For seafood, try local faves Cobalt, TinTop or Sassy Bass. Want a delicious steak? Check out Cosmos for delicious food and a super friendly staff. Hungry for a big ole seafood pizza? You must visit Papa Rocco’s or Cricos! How about gumbo to make your mouth happy? Sea-n-Suds is the place for gumbo. And the best part is that someone else is on dish duty tonight!

3) Shop for yourself

Sometimes it’s hard to forget we need new things too! What better place to look for new clothes and souvenirs than Main Street at The Wharf in Orange Beach. Retail therapy is one of the best things especially when you’re on vacation! You could dedicate a whole day to just exploring SanRoc Cay in Orange Beach or Pelican Place in Gulf Shores. We also have a huge Tanger Outlet for those seeking bargains! All of these places have great boutiques and shopsl. So, once you’ve gotten too much sun for the day, go ahead and take a shopping trip!

4) Kick off your shoes and kick up your heels

After a day of shopping and beach combing with your tribe, you want to sing along with a band and do a little dancing?  Well, you’re in luck! The Flora-Bama, our favorite roadhouse, is just a few minutes away. If you planned your mini-vaca for late fall, you might even get to enjoy The Frank Brown Songwriters Festival. There is always someone singing and dancing there!

Another great place for food, spirits and laughter is Lucy Buffett’s LuLu’s located in Gulf Shores. A fun place to spend an evening is Live Bait. With fabulous cocktails and great music, you can sing along while sampling their unique appetizer menu. Oh, and don’t forget to get a tee shirt from each place y’all visit! What a great way to have a cool souvenir collection and remember one of the best weekends ever!

5) Visit the Spa

Who doesn’t like to be pampered sometimes, and what better time than when you’re with your favorite people? Spend the day having some of your favorite treatments done at The Beach Club Spa in Fort Morgan . They have a wonderful selection of everything from massages, facials and even hair services! To relax even further you may want to try out their Aromatherapy Stress Fix Massage. It features “Swedish and Deep Tissue massage with lavender infused auroras to calm the senses.” What a wonderful way to finish off your relaxing vacation! Locals love Austin Massage where you may find yourself melting into the table.

6) Stay in an amazing beach home

You don’t know where to stay? We can help with that! At Sunset Properties, we have just the perfect mini-vaca spot for you and all of your girlfriends! If youl want to stay together, we have the perfect beach home for you like SEA TURTLE and GOLDEN YONA that sleep 10-17 guests comfortably. If you’d like to reserve a penthouse condo for your girls weekend, check out Caribe C Penthouse 14. Talk about luxury!! Or, maybe you’d prefer an individual condo, but want to be in the same building. The Dunes and The Indies will probably be perfect for your group. The Dunes and Indies offer one, two, and three bedroom condos, so finding the perfect one shouldn’t be hard! All of our properties come with stocked kitchens, beautiful views, and comfy beds. Do you have that one bestie who simply cannot leave her fur baby at home? Not a problem! We have several homes that are pet friendly and allow dogs to stay with their owners! We even have a new condo called Pleasant Greens with a beautiful view of Kiva Dunes Golf Course! At Sunset Properties, we have a home for just about anyone!

 So what are you waiting for? It’s time to book your girls weekend in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan with Sunset Properties! Go ahead, give us a call! We are ready to help you move your daydream into reality!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251-543-1370

5 Tips When Investing In Your First Investment Property

Investing in rental properties has become one of the top trending ways to create a revolving wheel of wealth in the residential space. Very few assets, if any, reward investors with a greater return on investment for extended periods of time.

These residential rental properties allow investors to make money passively. However, there are several things to consider when immersing yourself into the home renting experience. If you find yourself intrigued by the passive income lifestyle, use these tips when buying your first investment property.

  1. Research The Right Properties

The first step when jumping into the rental real estate market is to search for the right properties. Anyone can purchase an ordinary property and call it a rental, but the investors who do research will find the most success. It’s essential to strategically find what kinds of properties are doing the best in the current market.

Ask yourself these questions: Are you looking for a single or multifamily property? How many bathrooms? Is there backyard space? Are you looking for a property in the suburbs or the city? Is it a new house or an old house?

Before you do anything else, you should develop a solid understanding of the types of properties along with the condition and features of that property before committing. Conducting a rental real estate market analysis could also be beneficial when trying to reach your financial goals. As rewarding as rental real estate can be, investing in a non-desirable property can alter your passive income aspirations. Once you discover the right type of property for your investment, you can then consider the right location.

  • Find An Ideal Location

Another important step when buying an investment property is to consider the right location. One of the golden rules of real estate investing is focusing on the location of the prospective property. The location of your potential rental property asset is one of the most critical elements in the process. Proximity to desirable locations like restaurants, shopping malls and well-established education will contribute to demand and value, which will allow landlords to increase their rental asking prices. As a result, prospective landlords need to be aware of where they intend to buy.

The specific location of a property will determine a variety of factors, which also may dictate the opportunities your property may open. As a real estate investor, you don’t want to go for a location that has too many available properties for rent. Ideally, you need a location with reasonable supply and high demand. This will also greatly impact the types of potential clients your assets will attract. For example, if the property is acquired in a tourist destination, it may be better served as a vacation rental. Similarly, properties that are close to college campuses may be best suited for student housing. Overall, finding the right income property location is very important and will determine almost everything moving forward, so spend time studying up.

  • Start Thinking Like A Landlord

When you have ambitions to become a landlord, it’s important to start thinking like a landlord. Navigating this process can create a certain level of stress for people who aren’t familiar with best real estate practices. For some, this may mean developing handy skills around the house. If you’re serious, you should take the time to learn about the infrastructure of homes along with how you can maximize your ROI. For others, this may require more real estate assistance like hiring a third-party property manager.

More importantly, however, prospective landlords should look into third-party property managers. The assistance of a property manager can reduce the workload significantly for a landlord. Using the help of a property manager will free up more time for you to spend on more valuable things than the typical landlord assignments. Usually, investment property owners who hire property managers are able to add more estates to their rental property portfolios while avoiding additional work to their daily itineraries.

  • Consider Financing Options

In order to find prosperity in this extensive process, begin by considering the most valuable financing options for your investment aspirations. On the outside looking in, most people who are unfamiliar with owning a rental property are unaware of the funding options best suited for them. However, it’s a bit more financially complex than that. Naturally, the higher your monthly payment, the less cash flow that is available. Perhaps, the cash flow isn’t as high as you anticipated.

One of the things to consider when buying rental property is your financing options. When you apply for a mortgage loan, you’ll find plenty of options available for financing your first investment property. Should you choose a 15-or 30-year mortgage? An FHA loan or a conventional loan? Of course, different options come with different benefits and costs. Therefore, it’s important that you weigh all your financing options carefully to make sure you choose the right loan option that best suits your financial standing and real estate investment goals.

  • Budget For The Unexpected & Any Improvements

When considering your expenses before buying your first rental property, it’s also important that you budget for unexpected costs and any improvements that come with owning that property. Some of these include fees, taxes, vacancies, and damages done by previous tenants. Take the time to set aside money for revamping your projected budget. Over time, using your funds for improvements and upgrades can decrease the amount of extra expenses needed for repairs in the future. Making the proper upgrades to your rental property not only provides a safety net but also increases the value of your home as well.

If saving money and budgeting is an issue for you, try to think of other ways to gather funding. For example, if you’re a homeowner yourself, there are additional ways you can collect money to make upgrades. A HELOC is a reliable way to gather funds in order to tend to certain projects on your property. This is a secured loan where you can qualify for lower interest rates than you would for an unsecured personal loan. Ultimately, use your updated budget to restore any items to the condition they were in before they stopped working. For example, a landlord who replaced old, broken wooden flooring with fresh hardwood has  made an invested improvement, thus increasing the lifespan and value of that property.

Like any occupation, becoming a real estate investor has its ups and downs. It’s essential to work strategically and mindfully to generate a cash flowing rental portfolio. In order to find success, use these tips to build your rental real estate knowledge.

Make Spring Break 2022 Count in Gulf Shores, Alabama!

By: Raven Hunter

It’s finally time for Spring Break! I remember my school years years of counting down the days till the middle of the spring semester when we got that glorious span of nine whole days with no classes, assignments, or obligations. Once high school came, you’d have homework assignments due the day classes returned, so you’d have to portion out some of your fun time to make sure those things got done, but otherwise, you were free. The perfect solace to hold you over until the end of the year! For all of the students out there, I’m sure this is an exciting time; but, for parents, this time may be more stress than excitement because now you have to face the inevitable question of  “What do I do with my children without school during the day?”

Worry not! Gulf Shores is here to answer that question for you with plenty of options for you to tire your kids out over their long-anticipated break from school. And, this can be a chance for you to get a break for a few days as well. With the kids at school all day and you working or busy otherwise, it can be hard to squeeze in some family time. You want to make the most of this time you have together, and the Gulf Shores area is exactly the place to do that. 

Events

At this point, you may be wondering, “What is there to do that’s so special Gulf Shores that will keep my kids entertained?” And that’s a valid question. While some kids love the beach, many can find it boring. Especially if they live near a beach themselves. But, Gulf Shores has many events happening this March that will surely bring the fun that you and your family are looking for with this trip.

The Ballyhoo Festival

I remember school as a time for growing and learning new ideas and perspectives as I got older and learned more about different kinds of people. If your kids are like me and love that part of the school, then the Ballyhoo Festival gives them the opportunity to take it on vacation with them. The Ballyhoo Festival is an arts festival and cultural exchange that showcases all kinds of art from across the southeast. Held in the Lake Shelby picnic area of Gulf State Park, this event offers diverse art, live music, and food for your whole family to feast on while broadening your perspectives with the cultural sights and sounds. If you’ve got some musicians among the group, sign them up for the Fiddle and Banjo Competition. It’s fun and free for people of all ages to enter, just make sure you’re all ready to bring the heat! 

Whatever your kids’ artistic interest, there’s something for all of them to enjoy and learn from at the Ballyhoo Festival. The dates are March 5th and 6th, so make sure to mark your calendar and get a few days off. You’ll be glad you did. 

Legends of Country in Concert

Got some country lovers in your crew? Then ride on down to OWA in Foley, AL, to see Legends of Country! At this seasonal event, you can familiarize your kids with legends Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Garth Brooks, and Elvis Presley while reminiscing about the days of their fame yourself! This event runs all spring, so no matter when your kids’ Spring Break starts, you’ll have the opportunity to experience tribute performances to some of country’s biggest stars. You won’t want to miss it! 

St. Pawtty’s Day

Reading through all of this, you may be concerned that some of your friends might have to miss out on the fun; that is, your furry friends. Finding a rental that accepts your beloved pet probably seems like enough of a blessing; but the people over at OWA want your pups to feel welcome, too, so they’ve got a whole holiday event just for them! On March 12th, take your kids’ best furry friend down to the OWA theater for the St. Pawtty’s Day celebration! There, they can enjoy music, a parade where your kids and pups can strut their stuff, and a costume contest to show off a little extra flare! Attendance is free! Registration for the parade and costume contest is available for $15 the day of, and it’s only $10 to register ahead. What better way to commemorate Spring Break 2022 than by making memories with your kids and pets to enjoy for years to come? 

The Beach 

Okay, okay, I know I lured you into this talking about things to do in Gulf Shores that weren’t the beach, but in the middle of your exciting event hopping, why not take a stroll with the whole family on one of eight public accesses to the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast? If your kids object, remind them that a change in scenery is always nice, and your high school students might enjoy the chance to walk the beach without the possibility of running into that teacher they owe a reading assignment to. Once they see the beautiful coastline and crystalline blue water, it won’t take long to win them over. 

Andrew’s Cottage

At the end of the day, when your kids need time to finish that one lingering assignment, or, you know, sleep, Sunset Properties is ready to offer you Andrew’s Cottage, a two bedroom, dog friendly rental.  Even with only two bedrooms, this rental sleeps six. Depending on the size of your family, you can all fit in this beautiful house with easy access to trails to give your furry friends a chance to stretch their legs. As an added plus, this rental has two bathrooms, one for you, and one for the kids!

If you’ve got a bigger family, Sea-Rae, Hangar Outer, Happy Clam might be more suitable for your needs. 

Your kids are another year older this break, but you’ve still got time to make these years special. I hope you all enjoy the chance to seize the moment on your Spring Break trip to Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Gulf Shores, Alabama, is the Destination for Your Winter Wonderland Vacation!

By: Raven Hunter 

It’s that time of year again! Soon, Christmas music will be playing on the radio (if it hasn’t started already), you’ll be rushing out to stores (or to your computer!) to find this year’s perfect gifts for your loved ones, and, most importantly, you’ll be deciding where or if you and your family will be travelling this year. Before you stress out trying to find that perfect family vacation spot or give up because all of the conventional options have been done to death, consider the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach/Fort Morgan area for this year’s winter getaway. 

Now, at this point you’re probably wondering, “What could there possibly be to do on the Gulf Coast in December?” And trust me, I feel you. If you don’t live on the Gulf Coast or even anywhere in the South, a place where the only “White Christmas” you’re going to get is in the pure-white sandy shores typically isn’t going to be on your radar when seeking winter vacation destinations. But trust me when I say that there’s plenty on the coast to help you enjoy all that the chilly season has to offer without being too chilly. 

Events

Gulf Shores and Orange Beach both offer several events to get you in the holiday spirit while you enjoy the tropical climate! Depending on when the kids get out for break, you can take them over to Gulf State Park for Gulf State Park Very Merry Christmas on December 5th or 12th! And, if your vacation starts earlier in the month, you can enjoy a seasonal concert by the Baldwin Pops on December 7th at 7 pm. For those of you who are wanting a performance experience on your vacation to-do list but have to wait until later in the month to start your vacation, the family-friendly Wingbeat Christmas Spectacular might be the place for you on December 11th or 12th. Also on December 11th, Lulu’s Buffet is offering a lighted boat parade. So, if indoor performances aren’t your thing and you want to spend some time outside, head on down to Lulu’s at dusk to watch an armada of masterfully decorated boats, or register your own if you’d like to participate! Either way, it’s fun for the whole family. 

Over in Orange Beach, the Wharf is really showing up with lots of fun options available through the whole month of December! Believe it or not, you can indeed ice skate in the South, and an awesome rink is available for the whole family to show off their skills! And, while you’re there, why not take the kids to have their pictures taken with Santa to capture the wonderful holiday memories you’re making on Alabama’s Gulf Coast? For you active types, the Yo Ho Ho 5K and Fun Run is to be held on December 11th. Click on over to register you and your crew for a fun time to exercise and push your limits!

In addition to the opportunities in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, OWA is offering lots of events for Christmas at OWA including  Brunch with Santa and the Holiday Tree Show to give your holiday a little extra pizazz.  So, if you and your crew are wanting to make a trip to Foley, you can take your vacation on the road for a bit to take advantage of all the area has to offer! 

Fort Morgan

Let me guess, you’ve got some kiddos at home that love to learn. And, I bet they’re SUPER bummed that school’s gonna be out until the new year… right? Well, maybe not. But, a trip to Fort Morgan could still be the perfect addition to your vacation to keep your students’ brains stimulated even through the winter school hibernation. Fort Morgan is enriching for the whole family to learn about its roles in the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II, and you can take your kids on a journey through time on this historic structure with a self-guided tour. The grounds are open 7 days a week from 8 am – 5 pm except on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day, so regardless of when you choose to squeeze a little learning fun into your vacation, Fort Morgan is waiting there to make it possible. 

Still the Beach!

Okay, I know I’ve been showcasing all of the opportunities to enjoy the Gulf Shores area without the beach, but hear me out on this one. Gulf Shores beaches are open year round, and there’s a lot you can do on the beach without going in the water. Be the only ones in your friend group to build sandmen instead of snowmen, or just bundle up and take a nice walk in the cool, crisp winter air. The weather promises to be warmer than any area with four seasons, and if you’re from farther north, then you might have a better cold tolerance than us southerners down here. Take advantage of the possibly less crowded beach this season for a relaxing, unique beach experience that you’ll tell of for ages to come. 
If this southern winter wonderland sounds too good to be true and you’re wondering how you can possibly make it work, rest assured that Sunset Properties has you covered. On the website, you can find over a hundred rentals that house from four guests to twenty-four. No matter the size of your family, Sunset Properties can help you find the perfect place to unwind after a day of seizing the holiday spirit and making irreplaceable memories.

2022 New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep: Make Your Mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast

With the new year rapidly approaching, many of our friends and guests are all deciding what resolutions they are going to make and the ones they intend to keep.  Here along our Alabama Gulf Coast, we are in the same boat, so to speak, as you are (although we frequently fish off our boats, but that’s “a whole nother story” as we say).  Are we going to lose weight, read more, take up a hobby or just spend more time with our families?  Seems Covid robbed so much time from us all, family time is at the top of many of our lists.  I have a suggestion, why not make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022?  We all want to leave our ‘mark’ somewhere without causing damage or harm, and here are five ways to do just that that range from temporary to a lifelong presence.

Write Your Name in the Sand

Leave Only Footprints is a phrase you’ll see all over while you’re visiting Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  This is a focused effort to keep our island as beautiful for tomorrow as it is today.  We clean up after ourselves, don’t leave unsightly messes on our beautiful beaches, don’t graffiti up our walls, and we help each other out when we need to.  But we all want to make a mark on our area, right? We want to let folks know we were here.  And most of us want more than a headstone to make that statement. How about you?  Want to make a mark on our island that no one will be unhappy with?  We have a couple of ideas.  One way is to write something in the sand.  Just above the tide line, use your big toe and scribble something profound like “Jack loves Dianne” or “Killroy was here”.  Or maybe just write your own name, the year, and circle it with a big heart take a quick Snap*, and you now have the best cover picture on Facebook*.  With a Gulf front beach home managed by Sunset Properties, writing your name in the sand is so easy, you can create a new one every day.  Check out Boardwalk 1085Castaways 3B or Carpe Diem for amazing opportunities to step right out of your beach vacation home and write your name in the sand.  The views inside these units are pretty nice, too.  I am thinking you’ll find more than one opportunity to share pictures on Facebook!

Hang A Dollar at the Flora Bama

Another way to leave your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast is to write your name on a dollar bill and hang it on the wall at the Flora-Bama.  Have you ever been to the World Famous Flora-Bama?  If you have, you already know what a cool place it is.  If you haven’t, you’re definitely missing out.  In spite of what you may have heard, The Flora-Bama is a family friendly place each day until 6:00 PM, then, at 6:00 it becomes an adult hangout.  If you haven’t yet signed your name on a dollar bill and hung it on the wall at this great American Roadhouse located on the Alabama-Florida state line, you should put that on your 2022 resolution list.  And, if you’re looking for a great place to stay near the Florida-Alabama line, you should check out Caribe B Penthouse 4.  This amazing penthouse condominium is any beach vacationer’s dream home! It sits high above the back bays of Orange Beach and is only minutes from the Flora-Bama.  This condo is family friendly and there is so much to do on the Caribe property.  If writing your name in the sand is still on your list, you’ll find easy access to the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico about two minutes away.  Gulf State Park’s Alabama Point is almost right across Perdido Beach Boulevard from The Caribe.  Whether you’re planning to make your mark on a beach covered in sugar white sand or write your name on a dollar and hang it on a wall (or both!), we’ve got the perfect beach home ready for you!

Sign the Guestbook at the Welcome Center

There are two Welcome Centers nearby.  The Gulf Shores Welcome Center is located on Gulf Shores Parkway across from The Track.  Beautifully constructed and filled with brochures containing tons of local information and some of the best Southern Hospitality you’ll find this side of Birmingham, the Welcome Center in Gulf Shores is definitely worth a look.  Stop in, sign the guestbook, meet someone nice and find out all about our island.  There is a second welcome center in Orange Beach.  Located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach, the Orange Beach Welcome Center is equally as inviting as its sister property in Gulf Shores.  Making your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast is as easy as signing a guest registry.  But, while you’re inside these centers, be sure to pick up a few rack cards and make a family plan that includes visiting some place new.  Each year, new business and attractions come to our area.  We are sure that while you’re in our welcome centers, you will discover something new to do!

Get a Library Card

Both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are home to amazing libraries.  The Thomas B. Norton Library is located at 221 West 19th Avenue in Gulf Shores.  This is near the intracoastal bridge.  This library is as modern as they come and library cards for visitors to our island paradise are easy to get.  If you need to use a desktop computer, get a copy made or want to borrow one of the latest best sellers, the good folks at Thomas B. Norton Library can fix you right up. If your vacation home is Colony Club M6 be sure to stop by the library in Gulf Shores and sign your name to a library card application. You’re not only staying close to lots of retail opportunities, but you’re only about five minutes away from some amazing opportunities you can find only at a library!   But, what if you’re staying in Orange Beach at Phoenix I 1083  and you don’t want to drive to Gulf Shores?  No problem!  The Orange Beach Public Library located at 26267 Canal Road in Orange Beach offers library services second to none in our state.  For years, this library has excelled in offering programs and services for the whole family.  So, go ahead, make your mark on our island by getting yourself one of the best souvenirs around:  a library card!

Buy Your Own Piece of Paradise

For years, each of us traveled down here to the Alabama Gulf Coast on vacation and said, “one of these days, I’m gonna get my own place here.”  Well, “one of these days” came for us, and it can for you, too!  There are a variety of properties available to purchase year round and we at Sunset Properties are not just in the rental management/vacation home business, we are in the “let us help you buy your vacation home” business, too!  The process is easy really.  We learn as much as we can about our clients, then we keep our eyes and ears open and help them find and buy the exact right beach home.  What better way to make your mark on our area than to sign your name to a deed and actually own your own personal piece of paradise?  I’ll tell you:  none!  Become a local! Make that a resolution in 2022!   It’s as simple as reaching out to us and allowing us to find you your perfect place.  All that’s left after the paperwork is done, is your signature.  So go ahead, make a plan to make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022 by buying yourself a beach home.  And, if you choose to use a rental program to help you with expenses, we are absolutely ready to help you do that, too!

There are truly many ways you can make your own mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2022, either as a guest or a parttime or fulltime resident.  At Sunset Properties, we are always happy to see our guests come visit us, but when they become our neighbors, we really celebrate!  It’s time to make our resolutions for 2022, and we hope you’ll put us on your list.  Go ahead, make your mark on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and let us help you do it the right way!  See you soon!  Happy New Year from all of us at Sunset Properties.

251.543.1370

info@sunsetproperties.com

www.sunsetproperties.com

What to do if a Hurricane Threatens Your Gulf Shores Vacation Fun

Now that the Alabama Gulf Coast is open for business and we are all rebounding from last year’s pandemic closures, we know you are ready to book your beach vacation getaway or flexcation soon!  Your friends at Sunset Properties want you to make the most of your beach vacation experience.  We want you and your family to enjoy all the great restaurants and attractions available here on our Alabama Gulf Coast.  We want you to dip your toes in the welcoming waters of the salty Gulf of Mexico and enjoy listening to the seagulls chatter and watching the dolphins play in our back bays of Orange Beach.  We want you to enjoy walking on our sugary sandy white beaches in front of the Hangout in Gulf Shores.  We hope you get to go boating and fishing and parasailing in Mobile Bay, if those things appeal to you.  But we also want you to be prepared just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.  Here are some tips on What to do if a hurricane threatens your vacation fun in Gulf Shoes, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:  

  • Know where you are

Keeping up with exactly where you are on a map is so important. Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico tropical weather, whether you’re dealing with a tropical storm or a hurricane, may not affect all parts of the Gulf Coast with the same severity.  What can be considered a major storm in one area of the Northern Gulf can be little more than a rain event just a few miles away.  Know where your vacation home is in relation to any severe weather that may be in the expected or affecting the Northern Gulf Coast.  Just because there is tropical weather in The Gulf of Mexico doesn’t necessarily mean your vacation has to be altered.  Sometimes, all it means is there is no swimming allowed in The Gulf for a day or so due to rip currents/tides.  And if that’s the case, you will still have a great time staying with Sunset Properties.  Most of our vacation homes have pools either right on site or only a short walk away.

  • Know exactly what you’re dealing with

Tropical weather can appear in several different forms.  The ones that seem to catch our ears here on the Alabama Gulf Coast are tropical storms and hurricanes.  What’s the difference?   As defined by www.weather.gov a tropical storm is a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds ranging from 39-73 mph (34 to 63 knots). And a hurricane is  a tropical cyclone that has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 mph or greater (64 knots or greater).  Both usually only last a day or so.  It’s the strength of a storm that determines whether our island roads and businesses remain cautiously open or have to close temporarily for safety.  While no one likes to deal with tropical weather, knowing what you’re dealing with will make things more manageable.  And understanding that when authorities determine the situation is severe enough to ask residents and guests to leave or delay returning to our island home, we all must comply.

  • Be weather aware

Weather reports are often available a week or so out and it’s a good idea to check out our local weather within a couple of weeks of your arrival.  Not only will this help you plan what to bring to wear, but it can give you an idea if severe weather is possible or likely during your vacation.  While we love to say it’s always sunny and 75 here sometimes, we have to admit, it’s neither sunny nor seventy-five.  We urge you to get a weather app for your phone that will allow you to not only track out local weather here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, but will also allow you to get alerts that follow you while you’re in our neighborhood.  Sometimes the weather at The Dunes near Fort Morgan is perfectly sunny under breezy blue skies, while the weather in Gulf Shores at Lighthouse 607 or Harbor House 30 can be rainy and over in Orange Beach, at Seaside Beach and Racquet 2104 or Caribe C Penthouse 14, they may be looking at the brightest rainbow in memory.

  • Buy travel insurance

When you book with Sunset Properties, long before you check in to Navy Cove 2113 or Hangar Outer, we will offer you the option to purchase travel insurance.  Get it.  Go ahead and purchase the insurance.  You insure everything else important in your life, why would you not insure your vacation?  This is the one big leisure expense you saved for and planned on all year.  Make a small investment in travel insurance and guarantee yourself a financially secure vacation.  For details on all the different travel insurance options, take a look at our blog detailing reasons you really do need this.

  • Develop a Plan B

All business savvy folks have a Plan B, just in case Plan A falls through.  Great vacation planners do this, as well.  We cannot overstress the importance of purchasing travel insurance.  You save all year for your  beach vacation;  the kids are so excited and hyped up; you have your four legged baby all vaccinated and ready to roll, then you realize the weather will just not cooperate with your plans.  If you cannot check into your vacation rental because it is simply not available, check with Sunset Properties about rescheduling for a different date.  Call as soon as you know you cannot arrive on time!  Do not delay notifying our staff with this request.  With some restrictions, this may be an option.  Also, try not to get fixated on only one of our great properties.  Be sure to look at all of our inventory, just in case you have to change your beach home address.  While this may never happen to you, and we sincerely hope it doesn’t, it is always good to have your Plan B in place.  After all, no one likes an unfamiliar, unexpected vacation surprise.  Book your favorite home, but go ahead and take a look at all we have available, and decide which of our amazingly family and dog friendly beach homes could be your second or third choice.

  • Expect the unexpected

Expect the unexpected and plan for it.  No one likes that guy Murphy who has all those gloom and doom (if-it-can-go-wrong—it-will-go-wrong) “laws” and we are convinced he is related to Mayhem, because he seems to pop up at the most inopportune times.  We don’t like him and most of our guests don’t care much for him either.  But there’s no harm in preparing for the worst.  While none of us can stop a hurricane or a tropical storm, we can at least prepare.  And tropical weather or not, it is always a good idea to throw in a rain poncho when you’re coming to your beach home.  While it doesn’t rain all day every day during the summer months along the Alabama Gulf Coast, it usually rains for a few minutes, most days.  Be prepared for afternoon showers as you enjoy your stay with us.  Ponchos and flip-flops are totally normal in our neighborhood!

  • Understand your cancellation or rescheduling options

We know that sometimes you just have to cancel or reschedule your vacation.  Things come up.  While we do our best to accommodate our guests and make changing plans as easy as possible, we hope our guests will do their part, as well.  Ask your reservationist for specifics on rescheduling your trip if the need arises.  Know your options.  There may be fees associated with this and the property you were initially hoping for may or may not be available for your new dates.  Get all the details when you make your initial booking.  We, at Sunset Properties, are only a click or call away and we will be happy to help you understand all of the options that are available to you when you make your reservation.

  • Consider changing your destination city

If vacation home choices in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan become unavailable during your scheduled time, how about considering visiting an alternative location?  Sunset Properties also has a lovely vacation home in Park City, Utah.  While Park City is obviously a long, long way from the Alabama Gulf Coast, our vacation home Silver Saddles is as spectacular a home as you have come to expect from us.  It is a three bedroom, three and a half bath 2,000 square foot ground floor condo located in this beautiful mountain resort area.  Vacations in Park City, in both summer and winter, are memorable!  Rescheduling your summer trip away from the Gulf of Mexico and visiting Park City, located about thirty miles from Salt Lake City, Utah, may just be one of the best vacation decisions you and your family ever make!

If you have questions or need suggestions on what to do while you’re staying with us on the Alabama Gulf Coast, check out or blog on Romantic Things to Do in Gulf Shores or Things to do With Your Kids in Gulf Shores.  We live, work and play right here in beautiful south Alabama and we would love to offer suggestions on how to make the most of your time in our area.  And if a summer stay in the stunning Utah mountains appeals to you, we can help you get your Park City vacation set up, also!  See you soon!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Post-pandemic Golfing in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan – Top Five Courses

Now that the Covid-19 case numbers have decreased and we are starting to hang out with our friends again, we golfers are excited to get back out on the courses!  Here along the Alabama Gulf Coast, our amenities are starting to open back up fully in our island home.  A post-pandemic golf weekend in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan may be just what the doctor ordered to help you get over those pandemic lockdown blues!  There is no better time than now to make up for all the missed tee times from last year and according to Sports Show , golf ranks among the ten most popular sports in the world, so it is no coincidence that some of the best golf courses in the world are found right here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  But how do you know which course is right for you?  To make your decision easier, we have listed the top five golf courses in our area:

  • Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club 

Located just off Fort Morgan Road, Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is another of our local favorites.  Peninsula offers three separate 9 hold courses:  Lakes, Cypress and Marsh and we encourage you to play all three.  Combine two of the three to make an 18-hole round.  Each provides a distinctly different challenge and reward.  Finding this type of variety in one resort location is not always easy.  Make sure to visit the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club website  to learn about tee times and fees.  Sunset Properties is proud to offer the golfer with discerning taste an elegant beach home located about ten minutes from Peninsula Golf and Racquet ClubCoquille at Martinique is a six-bedroom, five bath gorgeous beach home located in the golf cart friendly gated community of Martinique just off Fort Morgan Road.  After a day of golfing and enjoying the sun and breezes that flow through the Peninsula Golf Course, you’ll only be a short trip from a relaxing shower and a private sunroom or deck where you can enjoy your evening cocktail.

  • Craft Farms Golf Resort

Every serious golfer knowsCraft Farms Golf Resort is one of the top resorts in the country.  The Cotton Creek Course and The Cypress Bend Course were both designed by the legendary golfer Arnold Palmer, making them extremely appealing to anyone who swings a club.  With perfectly trimmed fairways and surrounding areas unmatched in beauty, these 18-hole courses are a must for any golfer, pro or otherwise.  Craft Farms, located at 3840 Cotton Creek Circle in Gulf Shores, about fifteen minutes from the beachfront luxury home Lighthouse 607, offers beautifully furnished clubhouses managed by a knowledgeable and professional staff.  These courses are both challenging and entertaining.  To book your tee time, visit the Craft Farms online.  To get a closer look at the exquisitely decorated Gulf front beach home called Lighthouse 607, visit Sunset Properties.   Make sure you give Craft Farms a serious look, too.  After all, you may find Arnold Palmer designed the perfect course for You!

  • One Club Golf

For one of the most distinctive golfing experiences around, try One Club Golf.  Along with traditional day time golfing outings, One Club Golf offers golfing after dark.  That’s right, you can experience this glowingly fun way to golf, after the sun goes down. With Sunset Golf, Glow Golf and Golf Happy Hour, we are sure everyone in your family will have a blast.  So much of what we think of when we consider visiting a beach resort town, revolves around enjoying sunny days.  Well, with this new twist on a favorite sport, starry nights are in style, too!  Conveniently located at 4000 Gulf Shores Parkway in Gulf Shores, One Club Golf is just a short drive to the Bon Secour River area where Hangar Outer is located.  If enjoying the stars is something that appeals to you, be sure to consider Hangar Outer.  This special beach home was constructed out of an old airplane hangar and it is perfectly and appropriately located for any sky watcher.  Surrounded by 380 feet of water, the views of both water and sky are unmatched!  So after a day or night of golfing at One Club Golf, come home and continue your fun experience of enjoying twenty-four hours of fun at Hangar Outer!

  • Gulf Shores Golf Club 

Located in the heart of Gulf Shores at 520 Clubhouse Drive, Gulf Shores Golf Club is a semi-private club.  Guests are welcome to play this top rated Alabama golf course, along with members.   This beautifully kept 18 hole course is home to several local non-golfing residents.  Raccoons, squirrels and alligators can be found on or near the course.  The course has some challenging holes, as well.  Trees and ponds make navigating this local favorite fun and exciting. While you’re here, be sure to visit the Pro Shop and clubhouse.  Gulf Shores Golf Club, built in the 1960s, is an icon in our area and we know you will want to visit it while you’re in our neighborhood.  Speaking of neighborhoods, one of our favorites is the Fort Morgan Community.  Just minutes from Gulf Shores Golf Club, Tetherdown is a Mobile Bay front beach home just waiting for you and nine of your friends.  If a guy’s or girl’s golf weekend that includes fabulous views of the water is your goal, be sure to give this beach home a look.  Tetherdown, like Gulf Shores Golf Club, is surrounded with the natural wildlife that makes the Alabama Gulf Coast so inviting.  Be on the lookout for dolphins in Mobile Bay and possibly raccoons, squirrels or alligators near the home.  Also, if you see any of our Alabama Beach Mouse friends, please don’t disturb them.  They are endangered and we need them to help us keep our dunes intact.  

  • Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf

The Golf Course at Kiva Dunes has just over 7,100 yards of play area and is one of the top courses in Alabama.  Located just off Fort Morgan Road at 815 Plantation Road near Gulf and Golf East and Gulf and Golf West, Kiva Dunes is a completely public course.  In April 2018, it was ranked the top public course in Alabama by Golf Advisor.  The golf course, itself, as well as the professional staff, constantly receive rave reviews from guests and locals alike.  We are quite partial to them, as well!  Because of the novel location of this amazingly manicured course, which is literally between The Gulf of Mexico and Mobile Bay, the winds that pass over it change frequently.  Winds blow across the course from both the Gulf and Mobile Bay.  As every golfer knows, as the winds that blow across a course change,  the course, itself, changes.  This makes each golfing experience at Kiva a unique one. If you’re looking for a course that is constantly a challenge, well-kept and managed by super friendly folks, and is within walking distance from beautifully decorated beach homes that sleep up to seventeen of your closest golfing buddies, Kiva Dunes Resort and Golf is perfect for you!  For tee times and fees, visit Kiva Dunes online.

If you’re looking for a great place to practice and just hit a few balls around, be sure to visit The City of Orange Beach’s Orange Beach Golf Center located at 4700 Easy Street in Orange Beach.  Easy Street is just off Canal Road near The Wharf in Orange Beach.  The Orange Beach Golf Center features 9-Hole, Par-3 Course, lighted driving range, practice putting/chipping greens, practice sand bunker, and Pro Shop.  This golf venue is so lovely and well-kept.  We encourage island guests to visit The Orange Beach Golf Center for a relaxing afternoon.

Many of you have heard about the great courses in our area, but you’re not sure which one or ones to visit.  As locals, we’ve tried them all.  We are happy to recommend these courses, managed by our neighbors and friends, to you, our guests.  We believe you will fall in love with Golfing the Gulf Coast, just like thousands have before you.  And if you’re a repeat guest golfer, welcome back!

Remember, your vacation home is just as important as finding the perfect place to tee off.  Visit us at Sunset Properties and we can help you find those perfect accommodations for you and your family or you and your golf buddies.  From private pools to dog friendly options, to vacation homes with places to park your golf cart or your personal watercraft, at Sunset Properties, we have them all!  And we can’t wait for you to see them!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Top 10 Things to Do in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach, Fort Morgan for Memorial Day Weekend 2021

Flexcation.  Workcation.  Schoolcation.  Staycation.  Vacation.  With so many variants of the word, we thought you might want to try a Maycation!  How about doing it for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.  Extend your weekend stay out just a bit and kick off summer the right way:  in beautiful Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan, Alabama.  Looking for something fun to do while you’re staying with us, check out these ten suggestions:

1.      Go Shelling

Shelling is something we’ve all done for years as we visited the beaches of Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan.  What is Shelling?  Simply put, it is the act of collecting sea shells.  The beaches that surround our island are varied and wonderfully decorated with so many different shells.  Finding two alike is usually a challenge.  While no two are exactly alike, there are similarities.  Mollusks, animals like clams and oysters, who live inside shells, create their shell homes by using calcium carbonate.  Similar mollusks create similar looking shells.  These shell homes grow with the animals as the animals get larger.  However, the shells are never actually alive.  When the animal dies, the shell is left behind.  We ask visitors to our beautiful Gulf coast beaches to be mindful of animals who are still living in their shells. When you’re shelling, please do not take ones with marine animals living inside.  Instead, look for the empty ones.  Most days, you’ll find lots of abandoned clam and oyster “houses” all up and down our beaches.  Stop by one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Visitor Centers for more information on shelling.

2.      Tour the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and Dine at the Safari Club

How many times have you driven past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo and thought about stopping?  Well, this should be the year you stop in!  But we need to remind you, the zoo moved!  It is now located at its new home at 20499 Oak Road East in Gulf Shores.  Instead of being located on the island, the zoo moved just a bit inland.  Actually, it’s only about ten minutes north of the intracoastal bridge, just off Gulf Shores Parkway (Alabama Hwy 59).  Did you notice we tell distance in time?  It’s kind of a locals thing.  You’ll get used to it!  Anyway, this new location allows our “Little Zoo That Could” for many years, be all it can be… today!  Did you know our zoo is home to over 300 animals?  In fact, more than 20 of those are listed on the endangered or threatened species lists. Preservation of our wildlife and our surroundings is so important to us all.  That brings us to The Safari Club.  You’ll want to stop in and dine at this unique restaurant that is Alabama’s first certified “Green Restaurant”.  But what’s an eco-friendly restaurant without a great menu, right?  The good folks at The Safari Club have one of the most mouth-watering menus around!  Go ahead, take a peek here and plan your Memorial Day Weekend outing to include not only a visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, but also to one of our favorite dining spots, The Safari Club.

3.      Enjoy a Dolphin Cruise

Dolphin cruises are one of the most entertaining ways to spend a weekend afternoon!  This unusual outing is something most people cannot do where they live.  So, while you’re visiting our little piece of paradise here on earth, be sure to book your family a dolphin cruise.  Most dolphin cruises leave out of marinas in Orange Beach.  The friendly folks at our Alabama Gulf Coast Convention and Tourist Bureau can help you make an educated decision on which kind of cruise will work for your family and your schedule.  Some dolphin cruises are sunset cruises.  Some are in glass bottom boats. And some are just a couple of hours out in a boat watching these super smart, very entertaining mammals play in our back bays.  No matter which dolphin cruise you choose, be sure your phone battery is charged!  You’ll want to take lots of pictures or even a few videos.  

4.      Visit the Gulf State Park Pier

The world famous Gulf State Park Pier is open!  It was damaged last year during Hurricane Sally and has been under reconstruction ever since, but the first 725 feet of our favorite public pier is now ready for your visit.  Covid prevention restrictions remain in place and the number of guests who can use the pier at one time is lower than we are all accustomed to.  But to a real fisherman (or fisher lady) this absolutely does not matter.  Any chance to fish off the pier is worth not passing up!  Folks who just want to walk out on the pier and get a view of the Gulf unlike any other on the island are also welcome.  Again, the number of pier visitors at any one time is limited, so you may have to wait a bit for folks to come off this amazing, suspended walkway, but we assure you it’s worth the wait!  Looking down over the waves of one of the most powerful bodies of water on earth is quite awe inspiring.  You’ll be able to see lots of fish, rays and maybe even a small dolphin or two.  Be sure to plan your visit to our Gulf State Park Pier while you’re in Gulf Shores for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.

5.      See the Fireworks at Owa

Speaking of awe inspiring, have you ever seen the fireworks at Owa?  Owa, our Alabama Gulf Coast’s own family amusement park venue, is planning to have an amazing fireworks show on the night of Saturday, May 29, 2021.  Owa is located in Foley at 1501 South Owa Boulevard, about fifteen minutes north of the intracoastal bridge.  It’s really not that far past the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo if you go there by way of Gulf Shores Parkway.  If you get to the Tanger Outlets, though, you went too far.  It’s super easy to find Owa from the Foley Beach Express.  You can see it just off that highway.  No matter how you get to Owa from your Sunset Properties beach home, you’re sure to enjoy the fireworks show.  But don’t just go for the fireworks. Owa is one of the nicest family entertainment venues anywhere.  Go for the day!  The amusement park has rides for the whole family.  The big kids will love the Rollin Thunder coaster.  The little guys will laugh and giggle as they ride The Tea Cups.  And, with so many great places to eat at Owa, the whole family will enjoy this Memorial Day adventure!

6.      Eat Breakfast at The Ruby Slipper Cafe

One of the best ways to start off one of the best days of your 2021 Memorial Day Weekend is to have a great breakfast.  One of our favorite places to enjoy a blend of Coastal Alabama hospitality and New Orleans cuisine is The Ruby Slipper Cafe.  This family friendly restaurant in Orange Beach has one of the most varied menus this side of Lake Pontchartrain.  In fact, you’d have to drive west about 198 miles to get a breakfast that compares with The Ruby Slipper Cafe.  What should you order?  The Peace Maker is a favorite choice.  With this, you get your choice of two eggs benedict mini meals.  This is a must-try for someone who has a hard time making up their mind.  Kids will love eating here, too!  The Cinnamon Swirl Pancake is usually a hit with the under-18 crowd.  And while we don’t suggest overindulging in adult beverages so early in the day, we do suggest trying at least one.  A Ruby Mimosa is not only a pretty drink sitting beside your Peace Maker, it’s also delicious.

7.      Attend a Church Service at the Flora-Bama

Speaking of adult beverages, did you know your favorite coastal roadhouse has church services each week?  That’s right!  The World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge and Package Store holds weekly worship services on Sundays at 9:00AM and 11:00AM.  Yes.  Church.  In a bar.  Under a tent.  And, yes, you are invited.  This is probably one of the most unique Bible studies and praise music experiences you’ll ever have.  Put Central Church at Flora Bama on your list of things to do while you’re in our area.  And if you go one time, we’re pretty sure you’ll want to go back again.  Attend with an open mind.  And leave with a blessed heart.  What a great way to start off your summer season and what a great Memorial Day memory to take home.

8.      Race Around The Track

Ahhhh…The Track.  Just as you’re about to cross the Holmes (intracoastal) Bridge onto our little island home in Gulf Shores, you’ll see a huge go-kart park off to your left.  The Track.  It’s big.  It’s fun.  And it’s fast.  The Track looks like a place just for kids.  But don’t let looks fool you.  The Track was built with the whole family in mind.  If you’ve never raced your kids around a go-kart track, you’re missing out on some of the funniest memories you could ever make!  And after your second grader pulls ahead of you in that last curve, and leaves you in her dust, you’ll definitely want to go inside the arcade and cool off.  Have a soda, win a few arcade games. (It’ll help build your ego back up after being smoked by an 8-year-old in a pink go-kart!) Collect your tickets and choose your favorite prize option.  When we tell you, The Track is for the whole family, trust us.  When we tell you it’s genuinely fun, trust us again.  You all are sure to have a family adventure like no other and make unmatched memories here.

9.      Take a Sand Castle Building Class

So we know no trip to the beautiful white coastline that borders Fort Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach is complete without at least one sand castle construction.  Most of us take our little yellow dollar store buckets to the beach and work for hours and construct something that looks like…well, an upside-down bucket.  Despite our most determined efforts, we somehow lack the engineering skills we need to construct a bona fide, award-winning sandcastle.  What if we told you there’s a class for that?  Yep!  There are a few experts around our island home who will show you how to make something remarkable out of sand.  While you’re visiting with us and staying in your welcoming Sunset Properties beach home, your whole family can take a sandcastle building class from our friends at Sand Castle University.  The good folks at Sand Castle U will meet you and your family on the beach and give you expert lessons on how to build the perfect sand art creation.  You’ll need to register online.  Follow this link to Sand Castle University to get your group class set-up.  Then get ready to experience something uniquely beachy this Memorial Day.  

10.     Get a Family Photo

One of the most important things you can do this year is take a family photo.  2020 and 

Covid -19 were terrible.  Between lockdowns and sickness and the seemingly endless restrictions that kept us away from our loved ones, we all experienced some kind of loneliness.  Thankfully, this year seems to be moving more toward happy times and happy memories.  We want to remind you to take pictures.  Take lots of pictures with your family.  Those smiling sun kissed faces need to be photographed.  Professional beach portraits are always a good idea.  We suggest giving our friends at Chasing the Son Photography a call.  They will treat you like they’ve always known you.  They will meet you at the beach and help you and your family get the finest possible shot.  Capturing memories is what they do all day every day.  These experts treat their clients like family, and they tend to make quite a few friends along the way.

While having the perfect beach vacation home makes any trip wonderful, we at Sunset Properties, want to help you have one of most pleasurable vacation experiences imaginable.  Whether you’re staying in one of our Alabama Gulf Coast Luxury Beach Homes, a one, two or three bedroom beachy condos or a perfectly placed Mobile Bay front home with a boat slip, we know what you do away from your paradise address is just as important as where you sleep.  Knowing where to go, how long it takes to get there, and having some idea of what to expect when you arrive is always helpful.  We hope you will consider staying with us for Memorial Day Weekend 2021.  Starting your Maycation is just a phone call away!

Welcome Guests!  Welcome Summer!

Be sure to check out our dog friendly homes, we welcome your Fur Babies, too!

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370

Watch College Football at the Beach? Absolutely!

This year has certainly been one for the books.  The COVID-19 Pandemic has seemingly touched every part of our lives.  We have dealt with closures, quarantines, cancelled events, cancelled sports, missed family visits, and, sadly, sick friends and loved-ones.  Truly COVID-19 has not been kind to us this year.  We, at Sunset Properties, are feeling the same way you are.  We are getting on with our lives as best we can, while keeping the social distancing guidelines firmly in the forefront of our choices.  We wake up each day, watch the news and hope things will start to improve.  We have also been trying to help you keep your good cheer going with our blogs suggesting ways to make a good situation out of a bad one.  

 The latest casualty of this terrible virus is college football.  If you’re from Alabama, or pretty much anywhere in the south, college football is not just a sport, it’s a season.  Down here, we have spring, summer, football, holidays, and spring again.  And COVID or no COVID, we want our football.  Our annual pilgrimage to our favorite college campus is almost a spiritual experience.  It’s like going home.  Meeting up with our friends for grilled food and cold beverages before cramming ourselves into the stadium with 101,820 other people just like us, well, it’s a feeling we cannot replace. Many of us were disappointed to find out stadium tailgating has been banned and  we cannot attend games this year and maintain social distancing.   To a Saturday-Down-South-er, that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow.  That said and  to keep with our goal of helping you make the best of things, we at Sunset Properties, want to give you an alternative to the traditional way you’ve watched your favorite team play.  We want to invite you to grab a couple of your besties and their spouses, and come to your Alabama Gulf Coast for a couples weekend getaway.   

Here are five great reasons to plan a College Football Couples Getaway Trip to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan:

 1         Tailgating Has Not Been Banned

Because of fears of spreading COVID-19, tailgating, the original pre-game meet-and-greet, has been banned at several stadiums and college campuses this year.  However, in Fort Morgan, on the rooftop patio of USA 2, tailgating has not only not been banned, but it is actually encouraged.  This magnificent home will sleep up to 18 football fans comfortably, so you and your favorite cheerleader, together with a couple of your best friends, will have plenty of room to enjoy, not only the game, but also the view of the Gulf of Mexico.  In the kitchen you’ll find everything you need to prepare your favorite football snacks.  Stop by Rouses Market before you turn onto Fort Morgan Road for groceries.  We love Rouses.  In addition to foods you buy to prepare yourself, the good folks at Rouses always have something already cooked for you to grab and take home. And they have one of the best beer and wine selections anywhere.  Planning your tailgate party has never been so easy.  And if you’re staying at USA2, it will be one you’ll always remember.

 If grilling out before a game is your idea of a proper tailgate, check out Hayley House #12.  Located in Orange Beach, guests of Haley House #12 are offered the opportunity to use the grill located in the pavilion area of this gated community.  Once the game is over, you’ll love the super easy beach access from this amazing home that sleeps ups to eleven folks.  This beach neighborhood has its own private beach.  No matter which home you choose, please tailgate responsibly.  Our beach vacation homes are in neighborhoods where locals live. Please be courteous of your neighbors.  And when you visit our Alabama Beaches, please leave only footprints.

 2       Shopping is Allowed During the Game

When two or three couples get together, the ladies seem to want to go do their thing while the guys do theirs.  It just happens.  So, if the guys are going to be glued to the TV all afternoon and the ladies are not really that interested, what should they do?  How about a little retail therapy?!  Sure!  Shop!  There is certainly no shortage of places to enjoy spending a little money.  So, Ladies, lace up your sneakers, grab that cute face mask, and clutch your favorite cross body bag because guilt-free shopping is allowed during football games here along the Alabama Gulf Coast.  Are you looking for a fun souvenir?  Look no farther than everyone’s favorite “shark store”  and island staple, Souvenir City!  They have an amazing variety of items to choose from.  From fudge to hermit crabs, clothes to magnets, there is no shortage of choices and it’s no wonder they have been in Gulf Shores since 1956.  Don’t miss the opportunity to take selfies of yourselves as you walk right through the giant open mouth of a shark as you enter the store.  Your social media followers will love this!   If you’re wanting a little more than a mega-souvenir store can offer, take a short trip to Foley to the Tanger Outlet Mall Located right on Alabama Highway 59 in Foley, you’ll find nearly 100 outlet stores just ready and waiting to offer you one of the best shopping experiences anywhere!  

 3         It’s OK to Order Take Out

Under normal circumstances, when you’re able to watch a football game from your stadium seats, you would order food from the stadium concession stands.  But nothing is normal about 2020 or this football season.  You’re not going to be at the stadium.  That doesn’t mean you cannot still order your favorite snacks to enjoy during the game.  The good news is, the super nice and really talented folks at Orange Beach Concierge will blow your mind with the great food they’ll prepare for you. Forget hotdogs and nachos. Give your stomach a break from traditional stadium food and try their New Orleans Taste.  Be sure to call to place your order ahead of your arrival and they will even deliver your food right to your beach home!  Or stop by and visit them at The Wharf to pick up your take-out order.    Whether you’re lounging on the deck at Beach Time waiting for kickoff or are already in full-foam-finger-mode at Happy Clam, you cannot go wrong with appetizers or a great meal prepared by Chef David at Orange Beach Concierge!  Remember toplan ahead and order your ballgame day take-outfrom Orange Beach Concierge’s “The Pantry”  and make your football weekend experience with Sunset Properties one for the record books! 

 4         After the Game, There’s the Beach

 We know watching college football can be a blood pressure raising experience.  Pair the intensity of the game with the sometimes-suffocating heat from the stadium seats, followed by hours of traffic jams, and it can be challenging to just enjoy the rest of your afternoon or evening after the game ends.  Plus, when you’re in Tuscaloosa or Auburn or Knoxville or even Starkville and the game’s over, then what?  You go home, right? Or go to a friend’s place or maybe hit a club or two.  No matter where you go, you’re definitely going to sit in traffic.  But not here!  After your favorite game ends and you’re in our neighborhood, you can go to the beach!  No traffic.  No crowds.  No hassles.  The beach! And your favorite team jersey, paired with flip flops, is the perfect beach attire!  And let’s face it, the best beaches anywhere are right outside your vacation home’s front or back door, so how could you even resist?  Thirty-two miles of pristinely white sand are just waiting for you and your fan friends to enjoy.  Now that you’re not yelling at the refs on TV, go find the perfect beach spot, sit in the cool sand, relax, destress and enjoy the soothing sounds of the Gulf of Mexico

 5        After the Beach, There’s Coastal Nightlife

So, we helped you find a great place to tailgate and watch the game.  We suggested great food to enjoy and you visited our Alabama Gulf Coast beaches.  We have one more suggestion before you call it quits and pack up to head for home tomorrow.  Have a little nightlife fun before you leave.  Even though the pandemic has changed how our beach fun looks, it has not eliminated it.  We are taking all the precautions we can to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, but we are still enjoying all the great things available here in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan. Your Alabama Gulf Coast Beaches are open!  The Flora-Bama, located on the Alabama Florida state line is open and they would love to see you.  Live Bait which is located on Perdido Beach Boulevard in Orange Beach is open and often they have live entertainment.  The world famous Pink Pony Pub located in the heart of Gulf Shores is also open.  And so are The Wharf Ferris Wheel and Scoop’s Ice Cream Shop.  Many, many of your favorite beach stops are open and operating under different guidelines, and they are looking forward to seeing you.  Don’t leave our area until you have experienced at least one fun extracurricular outing. After all, you’ve been making memories with your best football friends all weekend, why not make just a few more before you head home?

 All of us at Sunset Properties are taking this pandemic seriously.  Like our neighbors, we are operating under different circumstances and providing extra cleaning and encouraging social distancing.  We don’t want anyone to be sick.  We also know that this, too, will pass.  While we are in the midst of our “new normal” we want you to know you are welcome to enjoy your favorite college football games in one of our beautiful, clean beach vacation homes.  Give us a call to set up your reservation or go online and book it yourself.  We are happy to provide you a “no contact” check-in and departure.  We, at Sunset Properties, are your biggest fans!  So, grab your college sweetheart and bring your team spirit to the Alabama Gulf Coast this football season and experience a winner of a football weekend getaway! 

www.sunsetproperties.com

Watch College Football at the Beach?  Absolutely!251-543-1370

It’s Fall along the Alabama Gulf Coast! It’s Shrimp Feastival Time!

Like y’all, we at Sunset Properties were all pretty bummed when we heard the 2020 Annual National Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores was cancelled due to the pandemic and amidst COVID-19 concerns.  We love supporting our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber and gathering with our besties and hanging out for hours at the Shrimp Festival and it hit us pretty hard when we found out this year’s event was cancelled.  But, here on the Alabama Gulf Coast, we always try to make the best of any situation and we started thinking about finding other ways to celebrate our favorite local crustacean and still manage to stay within the CDC guidelines for social distancing.

We decided to have our own Shrimp Feast-ival!  And we think you might like our idea…so here goes:   You were planning on coming to Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan anyway with your family or closest friends, right?  So, go ahead and come on down and spend a weekend with us Feasting on our favorite local seafood Alabama Gulf Shrimp!  But, where should we go?  Well, that’s easy thanks to Sunny 105.7 FM, our local radio station.  Each year, they hold a People’s Choice Awards allowing locals to choose their faves, and this year’s winners were just announced.  Here are some great places to have your own 2020 Shrimp Feast-ival by visiting our 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners:

Duck’s Diner

This year’s winner of the People’s Choice Award for breakfast and lunch is one of our faves, too. We have to give a big ole shout out to the fine folks at Duck’s Diner in Orange Beach.  Start your Shrimp Feastival at Duck’s for breakfast. This fun restaurant is located at 4560 Easy Street, right off Canal Road in Orange Beach.  We love their shrimp and cheese omelet and we think you will, too. Pair it with a side of French toast and a slice of tomato and you’re talking about a plate full of island goodness!  If coffee is your breakfast drink of choice, you can have it with or without Bailey’s Irish Cream.  And if a Bloody Mary rounds out your perfect morning meal, make sure to order one while you’re dining at Duck’s.  Congratulations to Duck’s Diner for being named a Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!

DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen

If you haven’t been to DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen, before now, you have really been missing out!  DeSoto’s was voted this year’s People’s Choice Winner for the Dinner Restaurant category, but this isn’t their first win.  DeSoto’s has been consistently providing great food and a wonderful atmosphere for more years than we can count.  They are located a block off Gulf Shores Parkway at 138 West 1st Avenue.  They offer inside and outside dining.  But what will you eat while your Feastival-ing?  That’s easy!  Steamed Royal Reds!  (Royal Red Shrimp 1 lb).  You may not know it, but you do want this! (thank us later!) What are Royal Reds, you ask? Royal Reds are beautiful crimson shrimp.  They are larger than other shrimp, much sweeter and have a texture like a lobster.  They can be harvested all year long, but their actual “season” is from mid summer to late fall, making October a great month to enjoy them.  How perfect is that?  You’re planning on coming to your own Shrimp Feastival and we believe you’re coming at the exact perfect time to enjoy the best our island has to offer!  Congratulations to the whole crew at DeSoto’s, 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Winner, for yet another thumbs up from your island neighbors and friends!

Papa Rocco’s

This year’s winner for best place to eat pizza should surprise no one.  Papa Rocco’s (home of warm beer, lousy pizza–not really!)  since 1985, is one of our favorites, too.  How will you celebrate your Shrimp Feastival with these guys?  We don’t even have to ponder that a second…order Papa Rocco’s Seafood Primavera Pizza.  Don’t even think about it, just do it.  Then pair it with a seriously cold beer and enjoy!  Your pizza will be slam full of perfectly cooked seafood, including your little celebratory crustacean, and overflowing with melty-gooey-cheese.  If that doesn’t make your mouth water just thinking about it, your tongue must be sleeping!  Wake it up and don’t miss an opportunity to stop by Papa Rocco’s located at 101 West 6th Avenue, right off Gulf Shores Parkway, while you’re in Gulf Shores.  Congratulations to our buddies at Papa Rocco’s Pizza for being named a 2020 Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner!  

Tacky Jack’s

You cannot really have the complete Shrimp Feastival experience without enjoying the best atmosphere along the Alabama Gulf Coast, so you definitely need to stop by Tacky Jack’s and you’ll quickly see why they were voted this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Island Atmosphere. And while you’re at Tacky Jacks, you can have your choice of “feastible” shrimp.  We love the Firecracker Shrimp.  But it comes with a bit of a bang!  So, if you’d rather enjoy something a little less explosive, go with everyone’s favorite Peel & Eat Shrimp.  No matter which you choose, if you’re in the mood for an adult beverage, we suggest having a bushwacker while you’re there. Tacky Jacks has three locations on our island, so no matter if you’re staying with Sunset Properties at the Caribe in Orange Beach, or at Lighthouse 607 in Gulf Shores or at Dream in Fort Morgan, there is a Tacky Jacks, complete with the best Island Atmosphere around, near you!  Congratulations to all our friends at Tacky Jacks for being one of this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners!  We are definitely fans, too!

Flora-Bama

What kind of festival or Feastival would be complete without a trip to the World Famous Flora-Bama Lounge, Package and Oyster Bar?  It just so happens that our friends at our favorite local beach bar/honky tonk won the People’s Choice Awards for Best Live Music.  We were so not surprised to hear this.  After all, The Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival starts and ends with the Flora-Bama.  You can hear some of the best music anywhere when it’s Songwriters Season!  But for your Shrimp Feastival, what do we recommend?  Visit the Ole River Grill and order Key Lime Shrimp and enjoy this unique appetizer outside on their open air deck.  The food and service are fantastic and the view is phenomenal!  The Old River Grill is located at 17400 Perdido Key Drive in Perdido Key, Florida, which is (as we say) just on the other side of Orange Beach right across the Florida State Line.  No Shrimp Feastival weekend would be complete without at least one stop at the Flora-Bama! Congratulations to the whole team at the Flora-Bama for being chosen this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winner for Best Live Music!

We know 2020 has been a year of uncomfortable changes resulting from the pandemic.   Having a year without the Annual National Shrimp Festival is unlike one we’ve seen in over 45 years.   We, at Sunset Properties, want you to know that even though we are saddened by all the cancellations that have happened this year, that we take your health and the health of our team seriously.  The Alabama Gulf Coast is open.  Our beaches are open.  Fun places to play are open.  Great places to eat are open.  Sunset Properties is open.  We are open and operating under the guidelines set forth by health officials.  And you are welcome to come hang out with us.  If your kids are attending school virtually this year, why not come on down?  Use the Wi-Fi in our vacation homes and enjoy the view of the pristine Alabama Beaches as the kiddos learn.  If you’re working remotely, go ahead and pack up your laptop and head south.  Why not set up your office right on a balcony facing the Gulf? And if you had planned time off to attend the Shrimp Festival, why not come anyway and have your own Shrimp Feastival?!  Give us a call, and we’ll get your reservation ready.  See you this fall in Gulf Shores, Orange Beach or Fort Morgan!

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Helpful links:

For more information on this year’s Sunny 105 People’s Choice Award Winners, check out Sunny 105’s website and Facebook page.

For more information on The Annual National Shrimp Festival or to shop their online store,

check out their website and

to virtually visit our Coastal Alabama Business Chamber click here.

www.sunsetproperties.com

251.543.1370